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Here are five things to keep in mind as the Dragons travel to Lottoland to take on the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.

Birthday boy Euan Aitken

Sunday's match will be a big night for Dragons centre Euan Aitken, who also celebrates his 24th birthday out on the field. The tough South Coast native made his debut for the Dragons in 2015 and has played 91 matches for the Red V to date.

Aitken played his first full NRL game in the starting side against the Raiders in Round 3, 2015. He also has a good record against Manly, scoring two doubles.

Half century seven years in the makingĀ 

On Sunday, big Jerry will run out for his 50th Dragons appearance in a milestone that has taken him seven years to reach.

One of the NRL's journeymen, Latimore has played for five different clubs across his 173-game career. In 2012, Latimore signed with the Dragons and played 14 games before signing a two-year deal with the Penrith Panthers. Latimore would go on to play 75 matches for the mountain men.

In 2018, Latimore returned to the Red V where he played a further 35 matches, combining with his old stint in the red and white to culminate in his 50th Dragons appearance on Sunday.

Anyone remember the way?

While some away stadiums are visited regularly throughout the season, the same cannot be said for Lottoland with the Dragons only playing at the ground four times in the past nine years.

The Dragons didn't visit Brookvale Oval at all last season with their most recent matches coming in 2017, 2016, 2012 and 2010. Their few trips up to Manly could be seen as a blessing who don't hold a strong record at the venue. The Dragons have lost four of their past five matches at the ground.

Eight rounds, eight changes

Eight rounds of the NRL is an eternity for coaches and supporters with injuries and performances causing selection headaches. The Dragons played Manly in Round 5 winning 12-10 at WIN Stadium. But the team that won back in April, has eight player and positional changes this time around.

Jordan Pearson comes in for Jordan Pereira, Lachlan Maranta is late inclusion for injured centre duo Zac Lomax and Tim Lafai, Blake Lawrie starts in the front row in place of James Graham, Jacob Host swaps with Tyson Frizell, Frizell moves to lock to cover Lawrie, and Reece Robson, Korbin Sims and Jai Field all come into the side on the bench.

Important two points

With just two wins separating 5th and 11th place on the ladder, Sunday's match could have a big impact on the Dragons final placing at the completion of the regular season.

The Broncos and Eels will square off this round meaning the Dragons will leapfrog at least one of them if successful against Manly, leaving them tied for eighth place on the ladder. A difficult match against the Melbourne Storm looms in the near future placing even more importance on claiming the two competition points on Sunday.

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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